Football 2015 preview: Scorps aim to recapture success of 2013
After winning the state title in 2013, the Scorps finished 2014 with a 7-6 record while going 1-3 in District 1-5A. They snagged the No. 10 seed in the 5A playoffs and advanced to the quarterfinals, where they fell to Belen 47-9.
Now, with new head coach Jeff Dalton taking over the program, the Scorps are ready to put last season behind them and show that 2013 wasn't a fluke.
"These kids showed up committed, and that's the first big step," said Dalton, who served as Farmington's defense coordinator before being promoted to head coach. "This is probably the most guys we've had come out in probably close to 10 years. It's kind of new territory for us, but we're learning a lot, and the kids are embracing every minute of it, and I really believe they're getting better every day."
While the Scorps' first step in the offseason was getting familiar with the new coach and system, senior wide receiver Jeb Pinckley said it has been a smooth transition.
"Everyone is fitting into the changes perfectly. It's going a lot better than I expected," Pinckley said. "I was expecting someone to come in from somewhere else, but since (Coach Dalton) was already here, and we all knew him, there's been a lot of changes, but it's also like nothing has changed."
Lineman Chris Romero said he shares that view. Not only was the senior happy about the transition, but, Romero said, he was optimistic about how the team would thrive under Dalton.
"With a new offense and new coaching, I think we came together fine," he said. "Our line is mainly all upperclassmen, and our skill position groups are really good. And we have Diego Elebario at quarterback."
Elebario, a senior, is back to lead Farmington's offense after a strong junior season when he first started.
At 5 feet 6 inches and 150 pounds, Elebario proved to the team and coaching staff that what he lacks in size he makes up for in work ethic and skills.
"I like it when people talk about that small quarterback because they don't see him in the weight room squatting over 400 pounds and just working as hard as he does," Dalton said of Elebario. "Maybe he does have to work a little harder, but that's what we want. That's who we are."
In addition to work ethic, Farmington has focused on an attention to detail in its training camp. The team has embraced Dalton's philosophy that games aren't just what happens on the field on Friday nights; they reflect the time and effort put in during the offseason.
"The little things add up, and right now we're focused on getting all the little things right," Elebario said. "We're not taking any shortcuts because shortcuts mean short seasons."
The Scorps will open their 2015 campaign on the road against Los Lunas on Aug. 28. "I think these seniors had a bad taste in their mouth, especially after the Belen loss (in the 5A quarterfinals) last year," Dalton said. "I think they're looking for an opportunity to show that that's not who they are. I think they want the chance to get that off their back. We're all ready to get football started."